My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

JimMarinerJimMariner Registered Users Posts: 13
Niel's Quote from another thread. Didn't want to HyJack it.
niel wrote: »

jimmariner,
welcome to the forum. it's nice you have a good battery bank and will soon build on it, but what else do you have? pvs, controllers, inverters, etc.? what are you trying to power?

Thanks for the Welcome Niel.

I have been collecting parts for about six months now.

All El Cheapo inveters till my system grows up into something more useful. 1 1000 Watt PSW, 3 MSW's 300/600/4000 Watts. I have collected these over years of buying things that looked, useful at the time. My plans are to get an Outback or Xantrex Inverter to replace the cheaps ones I have used as toys up untill now. Most likely in the 2-3000 Watt Range. At that time, My system voltage will go to 24 Volts most likely.

As for charge controller, still in the planning stage, I am in between getting an Outback 60Amp, or the Rouge. But what ever I get will be MPPT for sure.

My Solar Panels, which are still on the wish list, Will be in the area of 600/1000 Watts total, maybe more. I live near Fort Lauderdale, FL, so my numbers for Sun exposure will be decent. I am sure I will pay in ways of Heat though.

For now I use a Progressive Dynamics 60 Amp 9200 series RV Charger/Converter, to keep my batteries alive and happy.

The Battery Bank is already in motion, as of now 4 ECG-2 Golf Cart Batteries, expanding it to 8 in the next 2 months so all the batteries are in the same age group. Going to use a 12 Volt bank for now.

Tri-Metric 2025-A for monitoring the batteries and charging systems.

ANL Fuses on the battery cables, Marine battery swtch for disconnects.

I have a 5500 Watt Generator for after hurricane back up power.

Expectations of this system, I am using it as a hobby, and Battery Back Up for power outages that happen occasionally here in South Florida.
Not looking to power my whole house. Not looking to go off grid. The most I'd like to do is somewhere down the road, take some small items off grid so the system will exercise itself once the Solar Panels become a reality.

Comments

  • JimMarinerJimMariner Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

    I was inspired by 2manyToyz to do this though,

    Taking My Living Room Off The Grid
  • Eric LEric L Solar Expert Posts: 262 ✭✭
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

    Welcome. I have the same motives as you with solar power: hobby first, emergency back-up second. Put all thought of saving money with a battery-based system out of your mind (if you haven't already), and it can be fun and rewarding. My third 'hobby' system now powers most of my 120 volt household circuits.

    One little suggestion I have would be to not be afraid of considering an inexpensive PWM controller and a lower-voltage panel or two that can work at the battery bank voltage to get you started. As long as it could handle your proposed 24volt bank (most can), you could continue to use these bits later if you upgraded to a more expensive MPPT controller as well, where the MPPT controller might run off another array of different (probably higher) voltage.

    The reason I suggest this is that you could probably set up a PWM-based array with a couple panels for not much more than the expensive MPPT controller by itself, if you're looking to get going without spending a lot of money.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

    I also offer my welcome. I'm an Admin on another forum and we always have 6-10 people pile on with a "welcome" anytime someone new shows up (2-3 times a day), I've been trying to do more of that myself on the various other forums I visit.

    Anyway, I'll admit that taking a living room off-grid sounds sexy. It would be cool sitting there watching TV knowing that you aren't spewing CO2 into the air in the process. However, I would suggest you consider something not as sexy but easier to design for and a bigger user of energy in your house... your fridge.

    In most homes it is the single biggest energy user, so it will have the biggest payback. It is also a very steady, known load, in use even when you aren't home (the reason its the biggest energy hog), so it is easier to design a system to handle it. It is by code on its own circuit so you don't have to worry about someone plugging in a vacuum cleaner, plus that makes it easier to move it to its own off-grid breaker box. Once it is off-grid it is, of course, immune to grid power outages - after a hurricane you won't have to run your genset as much because you'll only need it for optional uses and not 12 hours a day to keep the fridge cold. Since a fridge has thermal carryover - can maintain a safe temperature for hours w/o power - when a big outage hits you can use that circuit for other temporary loads especially once your battery has hit float.

    Oh, and much of this isn't applicable to a second fridge stuck in a garage, so I don't recommend trying to size it to run all fridges/freezers you have.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • JimMarinerJimMariner Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.
    Eric L wrote: »
    Welcome. I have the same motives as you with solar power: hobby first, emergency back-up second. Put all thought of saving money with a battery-based system out of your mind (if you haven't already), and it can be fun and rewarding. My third 'hobby' system now powers most of my 120 volt household circuits.

    One little suggestion I have would be to not be afraid of considering an inexpensive PWM controller and a lower-voltage panel or two that can work at the battery bank voltage to get you started. As long as it could handle your proposed 24volt bank (most can), you could continue to use these bits later if you upgraded to a more expensive MPPT controller as well, where the MPPT controller might run off another array of different (probably higher) voltage.

    The reason I suggest this is that you could probably set up a PWM-based array with a couple panels for not much more than the expensive MPPT controller by itself, if you're looking to get going without spending a lot of money.

    Hey Eric, Gotta love our Hobbies for sure. :p I am not affraid to pony up the extra bucks for s good Charge Controller, I know how to save my pennies. Well, sometimes. But since I am thinking of a few seperate systems, for specific purposes, I can always think of going that way too, with the cheaper PWM's. Thinking of my 12 Volt malibu lights as an option for solar, if I put LEDs in them.

    Thanks for the Welcome and comments Eric !!! Keep the ideas coming my way. Never learn enough about anything.
  • JimMarinerJimMariner Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.
    techntrek wrote: »
    I also offer my welcome. I'm an Admin on another forum and we always have 6-10 people pile on with a "welcome" anytime someone new shows up (2-3 times a day), I've been trying to do more of that myself on the various other forums I visit.

    Anyway, I'll admit that taking a living room off-grid sounds sexy. It would be cool sitting there watching TV knowing that you aren't spewing CO2 into the air in the process. However, I would suggest you consider something not as sexy but easier to design for and a bigger user of energy in your house... your fridge.

    In most homes it is the single biggest energy user, so it will have the biggest payback. It is also a very steady, known load, in use even when you aren't home (the reason its the biggest energy hog), so it is easier to design a system to handle it. It is by code on its own circuit so you don't have to worry about someone plugging in a vacuum cleaner, plus that makes it easier to move it to its own off-grid breaker box. Once it is off-grid it is, of course, immune to grid power outages - after a hurricane you won't have to run your genset as much because you'll only need it for optional uses and not 12 hours a day to keep the fridge cold. Since a fridge has thermal carryover - can maintain a safe temperature for hours w/o power - when a big outage hits you can use that circuit for other temporary loads especially once your battery has hit float.

    Oh, and much of this isn't applicable to a second fridge stuck in a garage, so I don't recommend trying to size it to run all fridges/freezers you have.

    Hey TechnTrek !! Yeah, I know all about being an ADMIN on forums like this. I did it for a few years myself on about 15 different Smart Phone forums. I always tried to join the Welcome Wagon with my MOD teams.

    Right now the Fridge is a great idea, but that will have to wait for a larger system. I'd love to take my entire living room off the gird, But that too at the moment is just a dream. Lights, they are going to be the easy part for now. I will add on as my system grows. All have CFLs in them now, and I have done the same in the entire house, just to add to the frugal part. Kids and the ol lady are always leaving them on, the reason for the change.

    My current intentions are seperate wiring fo all my Inverter Powered Items. So they can't be mixed or confused with the Grid power, I label all the inverter outlets.

    I am going one step at a time on all this. And reading and learning as much as I possible can too.

    Nice to be here, Hope one day I can contribute more than just leach off every one elses considerable knowledge :p
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.
    techntrek wrote: »
    I'll admit that taking a living room off-grid sounds sexy. It would be cool sitting there watching TV knowing that you aren't spewing CO2 into the air in the process. However, I would suggest you consider something not as sexy but easier to design for and a bigger user of energy in your house... your fridge.

    If your living room is sexier than your fridge maybe its time for a new fridge. --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

    backing up a refrig is quite a worthwhile goal as you invest a great deal of money into food as we all do to one degree or another. some farmers might be an exception, but even they utilize a refrig. no matter the motivation, it gives a strange good secure feeling inside when you accomplish something along these lines.

    the pwm controller with small wattage in pv may be a good idea. for now it can float charge your batteries for keeping them ready with a full charge is a good thing. it helps when you must go away for a bit of time or if you just plain forget. the pwm controller could also serve as a backup controller for those days when murphy pays a visit. (maker of murphy's law)

    i guess you do know that if your gas station has no power that you won't be pumping any gas for your genny or for your car after traveling to go get some.
  • Eric LEric L Solar Expert Posts: 262 ✭✭
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.
    My current intentions are seperate wiring fo all my Inverter Powered Items. So they can't be mixed or confused with the Grid power, I label all the inverter outlets.

    You might instead consider a transfer switch that accommodates individual circuits. Here's the one I have, which is pretty large; they make smaller ones as well. (I'm not sure how well these would work with an MSW inverter though; it works great with a PSW inverter that is also synchronized to the grid frequency).

    If UL listed and professionally installed, it functions like a generator input, which prevents accidental backfeeding to the grid (might make your utility a bit happier). I like the fact that you can, to some extent, 'tailor' the loads to the available solar, as well as add loads when there is good sun or if you expand your system. And you can easily disconnect your solar system and go back to grid if needed too.
  • JimMarinerJimMariner Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

    My 65 inch LG 3D TV sure is sexy to me, My fridge, well, only when it is stocked well with the good stuff, as I like my Beverages cold :p
    Yeah yeah, I know, can't eat my TV :p So I will do the right thing, My Frig and Freezer get priority.

    Other items I neglected to add on my list are a 50Amp Go Power Transfer Switch and a 30amp IOTA Transfer switch. I am sure no way legal for home use. I love my transfer switches.

    As for Gas Stations after a natural disaster, I learned that in 2005 after Hurricane Wilma. Most gas Stations in Florida after that had to install backup power to run their pumps now. But if I know there is one on the way, I stock up a head of time.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

    Yeah, my big screen TV is way more sexy than my fridge, too. 8)
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • JimMarinerJimMariner Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

    I use one of these for my Gen System to the house power.

    I don't really like those backfeed options.
  • JimMarinerJimMariner Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

    My latest addition to my tool collection, Picked it up at SEARS today.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

    i see they lowered the price on that meter. that's good. interesting that your automatic genny switchover has analog meters on it. how old is it that they find it cheaper to put analog meters on it?
  • JimMarinerJimMariner Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: My Venture into Battery Back Up then into Solar one day soon.

    It is of 2005 Vintage :p

    I was quite happy with the price on the meter too !
Sign In or Register to comment.